Starbroek News reported on 28 January that Health Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy took international agencies to task for using incorrect data to compile reports on Guyana, while saying that the practice disrespected the country and undermined the efforts of local health workers. Dr. Ramsammy, who cited PAHO/WHO, UNFPA and UNICEF, said he would not accept reports in the future if the organizations do not use the data tabulated locally. In a fiery address at the opening of a two-day caucus on maternal and child health at the Regency Hotel, Dr. Ramsammy said while the organizations have been good partners, they have been “absolutely unfair” to the country. “It is one thing to say to health workers that we have a formula and it is the formula that we would follow, to hell with the data that you have!” an angry sounding Dr. Ramsammy said. Read: Starbroek News
ARMENIA: Multiple media outlets reported on 28 January on the European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week and information provided by UNFPA on the situation with the disease in the country. In Armenia, every year about 385 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 202 die from the disease. In our country, cervical cancer ranks as the third most frequent cancer among Armenian women, and in the structure of malignant neoplasm of women’s reproductive system, cervical cancer is in second place, after breast cancer, among women between 15 and 44 years of age. Cancer of the cervix is the second most common cancer in women worldwide, with about 500,000 new cases and 250,000 deaths each year. About 86 per cent of the cases occur in developing countries. Read: A1plus, Armtown.com. Read in Armenian: Aravot Daily, A1plus, Ankakh.com, News.am, Panorama.am, Aysor.am, Asekose.com, Armtown.com
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: Multiple media outlets reported on 25-27 January on the Western Balkans regional campaign on Cervical Cancer Prevention supported by UNFPA. Media reported on successful LIVE AID concert of four regional divas and art auction which was part of the campaign. The UNFPA BiH Assistant Representative Faris Hadrovic stated that it is a critical time to raise awareness of the general public about the importance of cervical cancer prevention, since cervical cancer is one of the highest causes of mortality among women in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Read in Bosnian: Vijesti, Ezdravlje, Ljiljan, Ljutibosanci, Desavanja, City, EFM Radio, Dnevnik, RTVBiH, Visoko and Studio 88
GEORGIA: Multiple media outlets reported on 25 January that UNFPA hosted a meeting within the framework of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week. The aim of the meeting was to present Pap-test based Cervical Cancer Screening National Guidelines and to discuss future steps forward to increase the accessibility to the screening services in all regions of Georgia. The meeting summed up the results of the cervical cancer screening project implemented by the National Screening Centre, co-funded by Tbilisi Municipality and UNFPA. The participants discussed the plans and the strategies that will contribute to the increase of accessibility to the cervical cancer services in the regions of Georgia. “It has been clearly established that population-based, organized cervical cancer screening programmes can prevent up to 80 percent of cases. In addition, we now have two vaccines that are highly effective in preventing infection with the two most common carcinogenic types of HPV,” said Sandra Elisabeth Roelofs, the First Lady of Georgia, the Chairperson of the National Reproductive Health Council and the President of the European Cervical Cancer Association. The meeting was attended by the First Lady of Georgia, Vice Speakers of the Parliament of Georgia, representatives of the government, experts, representatives of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies and international organizations. Read: The Messenger and in Georgian: Interpress News Service, Interpress News Service, Presa.Ge, 1 TV, and Pirweli
THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA: Multiple media outlets reported on 24 of January that at the Journalist’s Club, a press conference has been held to mark January as a Month of Awareness Raising on Cervical Cancer. The regional UNFPA campaign "My Life is My Story" that started in Bosnia and Herzegovina has also been promoted in the Former Yugoslave Republic of Macedonia. The NGO Borka has thereby announced the National Conference on Fight against Cervical Cancer. In Former Yugoslave Republic of Macedonia, more than 250 women are diagnosed with this disease every year and nearly half of them die. These are the latest statistical data presented during yesterday’s marking of the Month on Fight against Cervical Cancer. “Macedonia, equally to other countries of the former Yugoslavia is no exception to high incidence rates of cervical cancer. The region as a whole records the highest rates of cervical cancer in Europe,'" said UNFPA Representative Deirdre Boyd. Read in Macedonian : Kurur , Forum, SITEL and Tocka
MOLDOVA: IPN reported on 26 January that an information campaign on cervical cancer will be carried out in Moldova during January 23-29. The drive is coordinated by Moldova’s Ministry of Health in partnership with UNFPA. Informative materials about the risks and methods of preventing this disease will be distributed in schools during the week, Info-Prim Neo reports. In a communiqué, the Ministry of Health says the causes of cervical cancer are diverse, but the sexually transmitted diseases are among the main ones, namely HPV. There are around 120 types of HPV. Nineteen of them pose increased risk of infection with cervical cancer. The virus can be prevented by vaccination, especially among girls who have not yet become sexually active. The Ministry of Health now has about 20,000 doses of Gardasil, a vaccine against HPV, for immunizing approximately 6,600 girls aged between 9 and 15. Studies show this vaccine ensures protection in about 70 per cent of the cases of cervical cancer. The vaccine is given free at family health centres.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported on 28 January that there is really no need for Malacanang to draft a new responsible parenthood bill for endorsement to Congress as a consolidated bill with identical provisions is now on its third and final reading at the House of Representatives, according to Minority Leader Edcel Lagman. Mr. Lagman, the author of House Bill 96, the main reproductive health measure that is being deliberated at the House with five other allied bills, said this in a letter to President Aquino dated 25 January. Mr. Lagman further said that the World Health Organization and UNFPA have consistently declared that contraceptives like pills, injectables, IUDs and condoms do not cause abortion. Mr. Lagman likewise said that responsible parenthood was limited to family planning whereas reproductive health was more encompassing.
The Daily Star published an op-ed on 28 January by Dr. Ashrafunnessa, Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and Focal Point, Cervical and Breast Cancer Screening Programme, Bangladesh calling for better awareness and testing to address cervical cancer in the country. The writer noted that UNFPA has funded efforts to expand access to testing. Read: The Daily Star